Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Little Tiger in the Chinese Night...

A Little Tiger in the Chinese Night: An Autobiography in Art

Last week, we finished reading this awesome living book by Song Nan Zhang.  It's an autobiography in art. The story tells of Song Nan's life growing up in Shanghai after WW II.  There were many ups and downs during this time period in China from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution, then relaxing policies after Chairman Mao's death to the riot at Tienanmen Square.  "His story provides rare insight into the hopes and disappointments, dreams and nightmares, that almost every Chinese has experienced in our time and gives a human dimension to a people numbering more than one billion."  Song Nan tells the story in narrative form with beautiful paintings.

Though I found the book at the library in the juvenile section and it has only 48 pages, it's not your usual picture book.  Ruben was disappointed early on because the tiger turned out to be a part of the symbolism and not the focus of the story.  If you're going to read it to younger children, I would break it up into parts rather than a one time read.  The Farmer, Jennifer, Angel, and I really enjoyed the story.  Maybe because we had prior knowledge of the plight of the people in China during that time period.  I would definitely recommend this book as part of your China study for ages 10 and up.


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